Agricultural Extension Service, South Dakota State College
Debeaking is the practice of taking off part of the upper beak of a bird. This removes the part they pinch and tear flesh with, making it extremely difficult for them to be cannibalistic. The process can be accomplished with an electric debeaker, using a hot blade that cauterizes the wound as it cuts, preventing excessive bleeding.
Bonzer, Boyd and Hart, Glen, "Debeaking Poultry to Control Cannibalism and Featherpicking" (1953). SDSU Extension Circulars. 568.